VOA Learning English

Ancient Statue of Emperor Constantine Rebuilt in Rome

VOA Learning English • voa
Feb. 10, 2024 3 minSource

Emperor Constantine the First was an ancient Roman ruler who welcomed Christianity. He helped spread the religion throughout the Roman Empire.

Recently, a large, rebuilt statue of Constantine was introduced to the public in Rome.

Officials revealed the 13-meter copy of the statue that Constantine had built for himself. Special technology known as 3D modelling permitted the statue’s makers to create the work from scans of the nine large original marble body parts that remain.

The result: a large statue of the seated emperor. Constantine is wearing special clothing and holding a scepter and orb . He looks over Rome from a side garden of the Capitoline Museums.

The rebuilt statue is close to the area where the original pieces of Constantine’s giant feet, hands and head are kept. Artists in Rome created the original about 1,700 years ago.

Rebuilt to its original form, the statue creates wonder in people who see it. This feeling is just what Constantine wanted from his subjects, officials said at the statue’s public introduction.

“In this statue there’s not just beauty, there’s the violence of power,” said Salvatore Settis of the Fondazione Prada, the cultural and educational arm of the fashion house which financed the project.

Officials did not say how much the project cost. But the Factum Foundation created the statue. The group is a nonprofit based in Madrid. It creates special digital copies of the world’s famous cultural objects.

“This whole dynamic about how you use technology to transform our understanding of and the importance of cultural heritage is the core mission of Factum Foundation,” said the group’s founder Adam Lowe.

The statue is made from several materials. The body includes resin, polyurethane and marble powder. Gold leaf and plaster make up the special clothing that goes over the body.

A second version of the statue is to be put in place in northeast England. That is where Constantine guarded defenses known as Hadrian’s Wall before being crowned emperor in Rome.

I’m John Russell.

John Russell adapted this story from an Associated Press report.

Words in This Story

scan –n. a copy or image of something that is made by a machine, and which contains data for use in study or reproduction

original -- adj. made or produced first

scepter n. a long, decorated stick that is carried by a leader (such as a king or queen)

orb – n . a gold ball with a cross on top that is carried by a leader (such as a king or queen)

dynamic -- n. something that causes change or growth in something else

transform – v. to change something in a complete way

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